FORT MILL — Things should be on the upswing for Nation Ford High wrestling this year.
After crowing individual state champions the past two seasons in Stewart Snodgrass (2011) and Markevis Duncan (2012), the program this year brings back about 13 wrestlers to go for another state title.
Among those are senior Josh Driscoll, who was a state qualifier last year, and junior Michael Allen, a state qualifier from two years ago.
Head coach Paul Richardson said his team still has some gaps in weight some classes – 113, 120 and heavyweight – but hopefully, that can be filled in.
“Our goal is to have a full lineup,” he said.
Richardson said the numbers for the high school team are up this year, but a lot of wrestlers crowd different weight classes, thus leaving gaps in others. Some wrestlers may have to be plugged into other weight classes.
“I am going to have to bump them around,” he said. “However, I like to wrestle people at the weight they are supposed to wrestle at.”
Richardson said because of the holes in their lineup, it has hurt them in dual competitions, so his goals are getting the wrestlers ready for February and the state tournament. Richardson said being in 3A the past two years has helped the team prepare to bounce back to 4A this season.
“This area is a hotbed of wrestling,” he said.
Nation Ford opens the season Thursday at Fort Mill High as part of the annual Main Event held to kick off wrestling season for both schools.
The Falcons have just three home dual matches scheduled as they take on White Knoll Dec. 12, Northwestern Jan. 17 and Fort Mill Jan. 22.
They will also be participating in several tournaments starting next week at the South Slam at Eastside, the Beef O’ Brady’s tournament at Fort Mill Dec. 7-8, the Seahawk Slam in Hilton Head Dec. 27-30 and the Bearcat Invitational Jan. 4-5.